ASPCA Pen

Updated September 2010


This device consists of a narrow stall with an opening in the front for the animal's head. After the animal enters the box, it is nudged forward with a pusher gate and a belly lift comes up under the brisket. The head is estrained by a chin lift for the rabbi to perform shehita. Vertical travel of the belly lift should be restricted to 28 inches (71 cm) so that it does not lift the animal off the floor. The rear pusher gate should be equipped with either a separate pressure regulator or special pilot-operated check valves to allow the operator to control the amount of pressure exerted on the animal. The pen should be operated from the rear toward the front. Restraining the head is the last step. The operator should avoid sudden jerking of the controls. Many cattle will stand still if the box is slowly closed up around them, and less pressure will be required to hold them.

An ASPCA pen can be easily installed in one weekend with minimum disruption of plant operations. It has a maximum capacity of 100 cattle per hour and it works best at 75 head per hour. A small version of this pen could be easily built for calf plants.

Close up view of the ASPCA pen headholder

Side view of ASPCA pen

This drawing illustrates (on the left side, in front of the animal) the solid barrier that is necessary to block the animal's vision. The sides of the ASPCA box must also be completely solid. The most critical part of the box is the head holding device and the chin lift. It is important to exactly follow the dimensions on the drawings. The design of the rear pusher gate can be changed. There are several different types of rear pusher gates that can be used. Some plants are using a box where there is no belly lift. This can work very well. The belly lift is not required. All parts of the restraint box must be designed so that excessive pressure is avoided. Excessive pressure will cause animals to vocalize. To pass the AMI welfare audit the box must achieve the following scores:

Photo of the ASPCA pen from the side

Restraining box with headholder for ritual slaughter holds the animal in an upright position.All parts of the head holder and gates should move with a steady motion. Cylinders should be equipped with flow (speed) controls to prevent slamming or jerking. Control valves on all moving parts of this equipment should be "return to center" type so that the operator can stop the chin lift or gates at a midpoint of the cylinder stroke.


Schematic Details of ASPCA Pen

Top View - Modified ASPCA Pen

Front Elevation of ASPCA Pen

Side View

Detail of Forehead Hold-Down Bracket for Kosher Box ASPCA Pen

Chin Lift Dimensions

Detail of the Chin Lift


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